Principles of Shared Governance

FACULTY GOVERNANCE AT EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Shared governance formally recognizes that the planning and development of university-wide policy is a responsibility delegated by the Board of Trustees to be shared between the administration and the faculty, and regular channels of communication must be maintained so that the Faculty Organization (FO), the United Faculty of Eastern (UFE), and the administration can discuss issues and concerns among themselves, together, and with the Board of Trustees and then articulate formal faculty positions.

THE FACULTY ORGANIZATION

The Faculty Organization is one part of Eastern's system of shared governance, the others being the United Faculty of Eastern (UFE) and the Administration of the university. The agreement which details Eastern's system of shared governance is outlined in EWU Policy 011-02, University Governanceof the University Governance System section of the Eastern Washington University Policies and Procedures manual.  Faculty Organization is the name given collectively to the Academic Senate, its councils, committees, and subcommittees.

SHARED GOVERNANCE

The collegial model of shared governance, which was adopted by EWU in 1984, formally recognizes that the planning and development of university-wide policy is a responsibility delegated by the Board of Trustees to be shared between the administration and the faculty. The administration fulfills its part of this shared responsibility through the administrative hierarchy, which is designed to administer policy and programs through EWU's system of departments, schools and colleges.

The faculty fulfills its responsibility in two ways: 1) through a system of departments, schools, and colleges designed to plan, develop and implement policies and programs inherent to the unit and to express judgment on personnel matters; and 2) through the Academic Senate, which, by a network of representative committees and councils, articulates formal faculty positions on policy matters along with the United Faculty of Eastern.

Collegiality, a key principle in any system of shared governance, recognizes and encourages the distinction between policy development and policy administration. There are two other principles necessary to the shared governance system: consensus and communication. Rather than majority rule, the system demands that there be prior consultation based on full and adequate documentation of need for new or changed policies or programs. It also requires that all parties be informed and that there be communication to build the confidence of all parties in the judgments and decisions being made. Shared governance cannot succeed without open, uninhibited discussion among all parties concerned. In keeping with the principle of consensus, there shall be no unilateral action by any party in the absence of such discussion. Regular channels of communication must be assured so that the faculty organization, the UFE, and the administration can discuss issues and concerns within each unit, together, and with the Board of Trustees. While sufficient time must be allowed for full participation, all parties must agree to respond in a timely manner to the issues that are brought forward for faculty consensus.

The President of the Faculty Organization sits on the President's Cabinet and reports on faculty issues at each meeting of the Board of Trustees. Faculty members of the various Faculty Organization Councils interact with administrative officers and attend policy development meetings to assure that communications are ongoing between administration and faculty. This is where the structure of the Faculty Organization becomes important.

© 2014 Eastern Washington University